White Tea Honolulu HI
Green Tea's Pale Cousin
Green tea may soon face some heavy-duty competition. It’s been touted for everything from preventing cancer to fighting cavities, but recent research suggests that the lesser-known white tea may be an even better disease-fighter.
A somewhat pricier, more delicately flavored variety, white tea is really just a younger version of green tea (it’s picked at an earlier stage.) But when researchers at Pace University compared white and green teas in the lab, white tea killed 80 percent of a staphylococcus bacteria sample within a few minutes while green tea killed only 60 percent. Similar results were found when the teas were exposed to viruses and fungi.
Some reasons for white tea’s potency may be that it’s younger and that it’s dried in the sun without any processing, says Milton Schiffenbauer, the microbiologist who led the study. Both may leave more of white tea’s beneficial chemicals intact. And though the research was done in the lab, there’s good reason to think white tea’s antimicrobial properties will work in people, too, Schiffenbauer says.
While more research is needed, there’s no reason not to start sipping now, says Schiffenbauer. Switching from green to white tea may even mean you’ll get fewer colds and flu this winter. Look for it in specialty tea shops and health food stores.
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